DeMar DeRozan had nine years to help the Raptors win their first Championship. The 4x All-Star and 2x All-NBA player quickly became a fan favorite but was never able to accomplish his goal of leading his team to the Finals.
Mostly, it was the challenge of facing LeBron James that got in their way. In 14 games against LeBron-led teams, the Raptors are 2-12.
So when “the King” finally swapped Conferences in 2018, DeRozan and his then-partner in crime Kyle Lowry believed it was a chance to finally break through — and they eventually did, winning their first franchise Championship in 2019.
Unfortunately, DeRozan was not part of that club — as it was him who got shipped to San Antonio in the package that would bring Kawhi Leonard.
Even now, the star guard admits he wished he would’ve gotten one last chance to prove himself after LeBron went West.
"Bron decides to go to L.A., so we like sh*t. He's the only person we ain't lost to, maybe we have one more chance at this thing. That kind of eased our mind for a second cause there's only like one motherf***ker we weren't able to get past.
We bout to at least run it back on more time and give it a shot. That was our mindset.”
DeMar has performed admirably with the Spurs, averaging 21.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 6 assists per game on 50% shooting. As a team, the Spurs have seen minimal success since DeRozan's arrival.
With Kawhi gone and the Raptors clearly in need of more talent, the door seems to be open for a Lowry/DeRozan reunion, but one has to wonder if their chance to win big has already passed them by.
At this point, it may be better to move forward rather than revive a relic from the past.